Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Directory of People

Sean W. Fleming

Courtesy - White Rabbit R&D LLC, and University of British Columbia
Discipline: Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Marine Resource Management
Office: Wilkinson 255
Email: fleminse@oregonstate.edu

Research Interests

My research interests focus on applied data science and predictive analytics.  Originally trained as a geophysicist with a solid grounding in both digital signal processing and bottom-up process physics, my attention quickly turned to analysis and modeling of complex systems in hydrology, cryospheric science, and climate, and subsequently to data analytics in general. I am particularly intrigued by the integration of both underlying process physics and experiential human expert knowledge into data-driven quantitative analysis and prediction algorithms, and my work emphasizes bridging the gap between theory and practice.  Most of my projects involve building and managing multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and frequently international teams.

Science outreach is also a particular point of interest for me, and my popular science book, Where the River Runs: Scientific Reflections on Earth's Waterways, is being published in spring 2017 by Princeton University Press (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10978.html).

Education

B.Sc., Geophysics, University of British Columbia, 1994
M.S., Geophysics, Oregon State University, 1997
M.S., Geology (major), Civil Engineering (minor), Oregon State University, 1998
Ph.D., Geophysics, University of British Columbia, 2004

Contact Information

Owner and Chief Scientist, White Rabbit R&D LLC, Corvallis OR
Courtesy Professor, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR
Adjunct Professor (equivalent to Courtesy Professor in US educational system), University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
OSU email: fleminse@oregonstate.edu

Peer-reviewed articles

2016:

[43] Fleming SW.  2016.  Demand modulation of water scarcity sensitivities to secular climatic variation: theoretical insights from a computational maquette.  Hydrological Sciences Journal, 61, 2849-2859.
[42] Fleming SW, Hood E, Dahlke HE, O’Neel S.  2016.  Seasonal flows of international British Columbia-Alaska rivers: the nonlinear influence of ocean-atmosphere circulation patterns.  Advances in Water Resources, 87, 42-55.

2015:

[41] Fleming SW, Barton M.  2015.  Climate trends but little net water supply shift in one of Canada’s most water-stressed regions over the last century.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 51, 833-841.
[40] O’Neel S, Hood E, Bidlack AL, Fleming SW, Arimitsu ML, Arendt A, Burgess E, Sergeant CJ, Beaudreau AH, Timm K, Hayward GD, Reynolds JH, Pyare S.  2015.  Icefield-to-ocean linkages across the northern Pacific coastal temperate rainforest ecosystem.  Bioscience, 65, 499-512.
[39] Halverson M, Fleming SW.  2015.  Complex networks, streamflow, and hydrometric monitoring system design.  Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19, 3301-3318.
[38] Fleming SW, Bourdin DR, Campbell D, Stull RB, Gardner T.  2015.  Development and operational testing of a super-ensemble artificial intelligence flood-forecast model for a Pacific Northwest river.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 51, 502-512.

2014:

[37] Fleming SW, Dahlke HE.  2014.  Parabolic northern-hemisphere river flow teleconnections to El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation.  Environmental Science Letters, 9, 104007, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/10/104007.
[36] Fleming SW, Dahlke HE.  2014.  Modulation of linear and nonlinear hydroclimatic dynamics by mountain glaciers in Canada and Norway: results from information-theoretic polynomial selection.  Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques, 39, 324-341.
[35] Fleming SW, Wong C, Graham G.  2014.  The unbearable fuzziness of being sustainable: an integrated, fuzzy logic-based aquifer health index.  Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59, 1154-1166.
[34] Fleming SW.  2014.  A non-uniqueness problem in the identification of power-law spectral scaling for hydroclimatic time series.  Hydrological Sciences Journal, 59, 73-84.

2013:

[33] Fleming SW.  2013.  From icefield to estuary: a brief overview and preface to the special issue on the Columbia Basin.  Atmosphere-Ocean, 51, 333-338.
[32] Gobena AK, Weber FA, Fleming SW.  2013.  The role of large-scale climate modes in regional streamflow variability and implications for water supply forecasting: a case study of the Canadian Columbia River Basin.  Atmosphere-Ocean, 51, 380-391. [Invited Contribution to Special Issue]
[31] Cunderlik JM, Fleming SW, Jenkinson RW, Thiemann M, Kouwen N, Quick M.  2013.  Integrating logistical and technical criteria into a multi-team, competitive watershed model ranking procedure.  ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 18, 641-654.
[30] Fleming SW, Sauchyn DJ.  2013.  Availability, volatility, stability, and teleconnectivity changes in prairie water supply from Canadian Rocky Mountain sources over the last millennium.  Water Resources Research, 49, 64-74.

2012:

[29] Bourdin DR, Fleming SW, Stull RB.  2012.  Streamflow modelling: a primer on applications, approaches and challenges.  Atmosphere-Ocean, 50, 507-536.
[28] Fleming SW, Weber FA.  2012.  Detection of long-term change in hydroelectric reservoir inflows: bridging theory and practise.  Journal of Hydrology, 470-471 (2012), 36-54.

2010:

[27] Fleming SW.  2010.  Signal-to-noise ratios of geophysical and environmental time series, Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, 16, 389-399.
[26] Fleming SW, Whitfield PH.  2010.  Spatiotemporal mapping of ENSO and PDO surface meteorological signals in British Columbia, Yukon, and southeast Alaska, Atmosphere-Ocean, 48, 122-131.
[25] Whitfield PH, Moore RD, Fleming SW, Zawadzki A.  2010.  Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the hydroclimatology of western Canada – review and prospects, Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques, 35, 1-28.

2009:

[24] Fleming S.W.  2009.  Exploring the nature of Pacific climate variability using a “toy” nonlinear stochastic model, Canadian Journal of Physics, 87, 1127-1131.
[23] Fleming SW, Hudson P, Quilty EJ. 2009. Interpreting nonstationary environmental cycles as amplitude-modulated (AM) signals, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 36, 720-731.
[22] Moore RD, Fleming SW, Menounos B, Wheate R, Fountain A, Stahl K, Holm K, Jakob M. 2009. Glacier change in western North America: influences on hydrology, geomorphic hazards, and water quality, Hydrological Processes, 23, 42-61. [Invited Contribution to Special Issue]

2008:

[21] Fleming SW. 2008. Approximate record length constraints for experimental identification of dynamical fractals, Annalen der Physik, 17, 955-969.

2007:

[20] Fleming SW. 2007. Artificial neural network forecasting of nonlinear Markov processes, Canadian Journal of Physics, 85, 279-294.
[19] Fleming SW, Whitfield PH, Moore RD, Quilty EJ. 2007. Regime-dependent streamflow sensitivities to Pacific climate modes across the Georgia-Puget transboundary ecoregion, Hydrological Processes, 21, 3264-3287.
[18] Fleming SW. 2007. Climatic influences on Markovian transition matrices for Vancouver daily rainfall occurrence, Atmosphere-Ocean, 45, 163-171.
[17] Farahmand T, Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2007. Detection and visualization of storm hydrograph changes under urbanization: an impulse response approach, Journal of Environmental Management, 85, 93-100.
[16] Fleming SW. 2007. An information theoretic perspective on mesoscale seasonal variations in ground-level ozone, Atmospheric Environment, 41, 5746-5755.
[15] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2007. Toward a practical method for setting screening-level, ecological risk-based water temperature criteria and monitoring compliance, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 131, 83-94.
[14] Fleming SW. 2007. Quantifying urbanization-associated changes in terrestrial hydrologic system memory, Acta Geophysica, 55, 359-368.

2006:

[13] Fleming SW, Moore RD, Clarke GKC.  2006. Glacier-mediated streamflow teleconnections to the Arctic Oscillation, International Journal of Climatology, 26, 619-636.
[12] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2006. Aquifer responses to El Niño-Southern Oscillation, southwest British Columbia, Ground Water, 44, 595-599.

2005:

[11] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2005.  Attenuation of high-frequency interannual streamflow variability by watershed glacial cover, ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 131, 615-618.
[10] Fleming SW.  2005.  Comparative analysis of glacial and nival streamflow regimes with implications for lotic habitat quantity and fish species richness, River Research and Applications, 21, 363-379.

2003 and earlier:

[9] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2003.  Glacial control of water resource and related environmental responses to climatic warming: empirical analysis using historical streamflow data from northwestern Canada, Canadian Water Resources Journal/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques, 28, 69-86.
[8] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2002.  Autoregressive noise, deserialization, and trend detection and quantification in annual river discharge time series, Canadian Water Resources Journa/Revue canadienne des ressources hydriquesl, 27, 335-354.
[7] Fleming SW, Ruskauff GJ, Adams A.  2002.  HJWFTAC: software for Hantush-Jacob analysis of variable-rate, multiple-extraction well pumping tests, Computers and Geosciences, 28, 669-677.
[6] Fleming SW, Lavenue AM, Aly AH, Adams A.  2002.  Practical applications of spectral analysis to hydrologic time series, Hydrological Processes, 16, 565-574.
[5] Haggerty R, Fleming SW, Meigs LC, McKenna S.  2001.  Tracer tests in a fractured dolomite, 2, analysis of mass transfer in single-well injection-withdrawal tests, Water Resources Research, 37, 1129-1142.
[4] Fleming SW, Haggerty R.  2001.  Modeling solute diffusion in the presence of pore-scale heterogeneity: method development and an application to the Culebra dolomite Member of the Rustler Formation, New Mexico, USA, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 48, 253-276.
[3] Fleming SW, Clark PU.  2000.  Investigation of water pressure transients beneath temperate glaciers using numerical groundwater flow experiments, Journal of Quaternary Science, 15(6), 567-572.
[2] Butler KE, Fleming SW, Russell RD.  1999.  Field test for linearity of seismoelectric conversions, Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics, 35, 20-23.
[1] Fleming SW, Trehu AM.  1999.  Crustal structure beneath the central Oregon convergent margin from potential field modeling: evidence for a buried basement ridge in local contact with a seaward dipping backstop, Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 20431-20447.

Other Public-Domain Technical Publications

[14] Trubilowicz JW, Chorlton E, Déry SJ, Fleming SW.  2015.  Satellite remote sensing for water resource applications in British Columbia.  Innovation Magazine (Journal of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC), March/April, 18-20.
[13] Fleming SW.  2009.  An informal survey of watershed model users: preferences, applications, and rationales.  Streamline Watershed Management Bulletin, 13, 32-35.
[12] Fleming SW, Moore R.D. 2008. Local-scale controls on hydrologic responses to climatic variability, CMOS Bulletin, 36, 15-19.
[11] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2006.  A Novel Approach: Reconnaissance Analysis of the Little Campbell River Watershed.  Report prepared by Aquatic Informatics.  Environmental Quality Section, BC Ministry of Environment, Surrey.
[10] Fleming SW.  2006. Impacts of climatic trends upon groundwater resources, aquifer-stream interactions, and freshwater habitat in glacierized watersheds, Yukon Territory, Canada.  In: Glacier Science and Environmental Change, P.G. Knight (ed.), Blackwell, Oxford, 151-152.
[9] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2005.  Whistler Valley Monitoring Program: Preliminary Assessment.  Report prepared by Aquatic Informatics.  Environmental Quality Section, BC Ministry of Environment, Surrey. 
[8] Quilty EJ, Fleming SW.  2005.  Magnitude-Duration Based Water Quality Objectives for Turbidity and Temperature in Millionaire Creek: Summary Report.  Report prepared by Aquatic Informatics.  Environmental Quality Section, BC Ministry of Environment, Surrey.
[7] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ, Farahmand T, Hudson P.  2005.  Magnitude-Duration Based Ecological Risk Assessment for Turbidity and Chronic Temperature Impacts: Method Development and Application to Millionaire Creek.  Report prepared by Aquatic Informatics.  Environmental Quality Section, BC Ministry of Environment, Surrey.
[6] Fleming SW.  2004. Comparative Statistical Hydroclimatology of Glacial and Nival Rivers in Southwest Yukon and Northwest British Columbia.  Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
[5] Fleming SW, Ruskauff GJ, Aly AH., Adams A.  2001.  Local-scale wellfield analysis for improving a numerical water resource management model.  In: Proceedings of the MODFLOW2001 Conference, H.S. Seo, E. Poeter, C. Zheng, O. Poeter (eds.), International Ground Water Modeling Center, Colorado School of Mines, Golden.
[4] Meigs LC, McKenna SA, Altman SJ, Beauheim RL, McCord JT, Haggerty R, Fleming SW, Jones TL, Ogintz J, Farnham I.  2000.  Interpretations of Tracer Tests Performed in the Culebra Dolomite at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Site, SAND97-3109. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque.
[3] Haggerty R, Fleming SW, McKenna SA.  2000.  STAMMT-R: Solute Transport and Multirate Mass Transfer in Radial Coordinates, A Fortran Code for Modeling and Analyzing Radial Single-Well and Two-Well Tracer Tests in Formations Exhibiting Multiple Rates of Diffusive Mass Transfer, Version 1.01, SAND99-0164. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque.
[2] Fleming SW.  1998. Single and Multiple Rates of Nonequilibrium Diffusive Mass Transfer at the Laboratory, Field, and Regional Scales in the Culebra Member of the Rustler Formation, New Mexico. M.S. thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
[1] Fleming SW.  1996. Bulldozer Blades and Colliding Submarine Mountain Chains: Constraints on Central Oregon Convergent Margin Tectonics from Magnetics and Gravity. M.S. thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Conference Presentations

[43] Fleming SW.  2017.  Quantitative simulation and prediction of hydrologic systems: an overview.  Workshop on Aquatic Biogeochemistry of Coastal Temperate Rainforests, NSF Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network, Seattle, WA.  [Invited Presentation]
[42] Bourdin DR, Fleming SW, Fortin V, Durnford D.  2014.  Numerical modelling of freshwater flux and temperature on the northern British Columbia coast in support of marine oil spill response.  American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
[41] Fleming SW, Bourdin DR, Campbell D, Stull RB, Gardner T.  2014.  Probabilistic flood forecasting using downscaled and bias-corrected NAEFS weather inputs to an ensemble of neural-network hydrologic models.  Western Canada Weather Workshop, Vancouver, BC.
[40] Halverson M, Fleming SW.  2014.  The application of complex network analysis to a system of streamflow gauges: what can we learn from community structure?  Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Congress, Rimouski, PQ.
[39] Fleming SW, Dahlke HE.  2013.  Glacier-modulated impacts of climate variability and change on water available for ecological flow needs, American Water Resources Association Specialty Conference on Environmental Flows, Hartford, CT.
[38] Fleming SW, Sauchyn DJ.  2013.  A deep-time view of instream flows: changes in the availability, volatility, stability, and teleconnectivity of northern Great Plains river discharge over the last 1000 years, American Water Resources Association Specialty Conference on Environmental Flows, Hartford, CT.
[37] Fleming SW.  2013.  The streamflow hydrology of glacierized watersheds: a brief overview, University of Alaska Southeast Glacier Workshop, Juneau, AK.  [Invited Presentation]
[36] Doyle C, Mo R, Jones D, Fleming SW, Whitfield PH.  2013.  Consequences and trend implications of a prolonged dry spell in southern coastal British Columbia, Canada.  American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX.
[35] Fleming SW.  2012.  The detectability of power-law spectral scaling in instrumental climate records, Canadian Association of Physicists 2012 Congress, Calgary, AB.
[34] Fleming SW.  2012.  Is hydroclimate fractal?  Another look, European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria.  [Invited Presentation]
[33] Fleming SW, Wong C, Graham G.  2011.  Using a fuzzy expert system to generate a holistic quantitative index of groundwater sustainability, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
[32] Fleming SW.  2011.  Complex fine-scale responses of terrestrial hydrometeorology to organized modes of climatic variability, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.  [Invited Presentation]
[31] Fleming SW, Wong C, Graham G.  2011.  Prototype fuzzy logic approach for an integrated groundwater sustainability index, Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[30] Fleming SW, Graham G.  2011.  Groundwater resources in Osoyoos, Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum, Osoyoos, BC.
[29] Fleming SW, Weber FA.  2010.  Multi-thread assessment of hydroclimatic change to support long-term planning of hydroelectric resources, Hydrology 2010, San Diego, CA.
[28] Fleming SW, Cunderlik J, Jenkinson W, Thiemann M, Lence B.  2010.  A ‘horse race’ intercomparison of process-oriented watershed models for operational river forecasting, Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[27] Fleming SW, Moore RD, Clarke GKC, Werner A, Weber FA.  2010.  Projections of Columbia River inflows to Mica dam under potential future trajectories of climate and glacier change, Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[26] Weston S, Fleming SW, Weber FA.  2010.  Multiobjective, constrained Monte-Carlo optimization and uncertainty estimation for the UBC Watershed Model.  Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.
]25] Gobena A, Weber FA, Fleming SW.  2010.  Teleconnections between large-scale climate modes and the hydroclimatic data of BC Hydro watersheds, Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[24] Fleming SW, Weber FA, Weston S.  2010.  Multiobjective, manifoldly constrained Monte Carlo optimization and uncertainty estimation for an operational hydrologic forecast model, American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA.  [Invited Presentation]
[23] Weber FA, Fleming SW. 2009. Modeling the glacio-hydrological response to future climate scenarios, Columbia River Forecast Group Workshop, Portland, OR.
[22] Weber FA, Fleming SW, Weston S, Boyd J. 2009. Forecast procedure review and 2008 forecast performance, Columbia River Forecast Group Workshop, Portland, OR.
[21] Fleming SW, Moore RD. 2008. Geophysical trend detection as a signal-to-noise ratio problem, with application to ecological low flows in Cowichan-region watersheds, North American Lake Management Society Symposium on Lake Management in a Changing Environment, Lake Louise, AB.
[20] Fleming SW. 2008. Climate and glacier change: potential implications for BC Hydro, Western Canadian Cryospheric Network (WC2N) Fall Workshop, Prince George, BC.
[19] Fleming SW, Weber FA. 2008. Parameter uncertainty estimation for an operational river forecast model using a modified GLUE architecture, HEPEX Sub-Group Meeting on Uncertainty Post-Processing for Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction, Delft, Netherlands.
[18] Fleming SW. 2007. Trends in magnitude, distribution, and coherence of aerosol concentrations across the British Columbia lower mainland, Georgia Basin–Puget Sound Research Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[17] Fleming SW, Whitfield PH. 2006. Statistical identification of surface meteorological signals in British Columbia, Yukon, and southeast Alaska associated with Pacific ocean-atmosphere circulation patterns, Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.
[16] Hudson P, Fleming SW, Quilty EJ. 2006. Tune in to river rhythms on your AM dial: amplitude modulation-based mathematical modelling of Englishman River temperature cycles, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Congress, Toronto, ON.
[15] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ. 2005. Using automated monitoring networks to set risk-based water quality objectives for turbidity, Environment Canada Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) 2005 National Science Meeting, Penticton, BC.
[14] Fleming SW, Whitfield PH, Moore RD, Quilty EJ. 2005. Pacific circulation forcing of heterogeneous annual streamflow regimes across the Georgia-Puget transboundary ecoregion: climate-driven spatiotemporal variability in seasonal aquatic habitat availability, Climate and Fisheries: Impacts, Uncertainty and Responses of Ecosystems and Communities, Victoria, BC.
[13] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ. 2005. Summer baseflow and climatic change: retrospective analysis and exploratory predictive modelling of historical and potential future impacts on drought-season water resources and habitat availability in Chapman Creek, Climate and Fisheries: Impacts, Uncertainty and Responses of Ecosystems and Communities, Victoria, BC.
[12] Fleming SW, Quilty EJ.  2005.  El Niño-Southern Oscillation influences upon lower Fraser Valley water-table aquifers, Northwest Scientific Association Annual Conference, Corvallis, OR.
[11] Fleming SW.  2004.  Nonparametric statistical trend detection in hydrologic time series, Canadian Water Resources Association Workshop: Monitoring in a Changing Environment, Vancouver, BC.  [Invited Presentation]
[10] Fleming SW, Moore RD, Clarke GKC.  2004.  Contrasting responses of glacier- and snowmelt-fed rivers to the Arctic Oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation, 2004 Canadian Geophysical Union – American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly, Montreal, PQ.
[9] Fleming SW.  2003.  Ecological impacts of watershed glacial cover, Northwest Glaciology Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.
[8] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2003.  Water resource impacts of climatic warming vis-à-vis mountain glaciers, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Congress, Ottawa, ON.
[7] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2003.  Glacial moderation of streamflow variability: results from spectral and nonparametric statistical analysis, Canadian Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, Banff, AB.
[6] Fleming SW, Clarke GKC.  2002.  Serial correlation and climate change signal identification in streamflow records, Canadian Water Resources Association Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB.
[5] Fleming SW, Haggerty R.  2002.  Single and multiple mass transfer rates: implications to groundwater contaminant transport at large temporal and spatial scales from deterministic and stochastic analyses, Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting, Corvallis, OR.
[4] Fleming SW, Haggerty R.  1998.  Variability in effective diffusivity at the laboratory scale in the Culebra dolomite, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
[3] Fleming SW, Haggerty R.  1997.  Estimating a distribution of diffusion rate coefficients from a single-well injection-withdrawal test in a fractured dolomite, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
[2] Fleming SW, Trehu AM.  1996.  Central Oregon convergent margin: constraints from magnetics and gravity, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
[1] Trehu AM, Fleming SW, ten Brink U, Flueh E, Meltzer AS, Gulick SPS.  1996.  Crustal structure of the Cascadia forearc beneath the Northern California and Central Oregon continental margins, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.